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Pasco enacts burn ban, why haven't drier Bay area counties? | News

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Pasco enacts burn ban, why haven't drier Bay area counties?
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Hillsborough County, Florida -- Pasco County is sending out a warning about the danger of wildfire season.

Commissioners there have approved a burn ban, after a 100-acre fire torched an area near Hudson, forcing dozens of people from their homes.

But drought conditions even worse in other parts of the Tampa Bay area, why aren't other counties doing the same?

Hillsborough County Fire's Ray Yeakley says right now it doesn't take much, maybe a cigarette tossed out the window, or even a grill with an open flame, to spark a wildfire.

"The conditions are just very prime," he explained.

Pasco County became the 11th county to enact one, even though the drought index numbers in other nearby counties, like Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota are even worse.

So are they just slow to react?

"I'm very concerned," said Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist.

Crist tells 10 News he's asked the county attorney to look at the possibility of a burn ban, especially after seeing an 80-acre fire break out in a rural area near Lithia on Tuesday.

"So that we could give our fire chief the go ahead, when and if he deems it necessary to put in a place a temporary ordinance to prohibit any smaller burns," Crist said.

The ban could restrict things like campfires, bonfires, and yard burning.

A spokesperson for the Florida Forest Service told 10 News Wednesday that each county has its own "trigger point" when it comes to the drought index and when to approve a burn ban.

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